A woman has issued a plea to parents who have been using photos of her face to scare their children as a part of a sickening new TikTok challenge...
Yep, there's a new TikTok challenge in town...And it is purposely ridiculing and humiliating people with disabilities.
It is truly shocking...
The "New Teacher Challenge" involves parents showing their children pictures of disabled people and telling them that it is their new teacher. They then filming their reactions, which usually involve the children recoiling in horror or bursting into tears.
tiktok stop making fun of visibility disabled people challenge— — red !! (@— red !!)1597158995.0
Here is an example.
Obviously, this is not okay.
And it is only further embedding the negative stigma surrounding people who live with disabilities.
There’s a challenge on tiktok and making front of disabled people. Y’all really don’t want it to be taken down?— 🍥Knx. (@🍥Knx.)1596429801.0
Now, TikTok doesn't have the best track record when it comes to online bullying and discrimination.
The streaming service has repeatedly come under fire for allowing these types of challenges to be posted and has even been found to intentionally curb the reach for disabled and minority users.
Ban TikTok. Stop making fun of disabled people #endlesscruelty— Jennifer Flaherty (@Jennifer Flaherty)1598460002.0
But now, one of the victims of the latest challenge has spoken out against the app...
And she has issued a poignant plea to all the parents who think it is okay to use her image as a fun "prank" on their children.
as if I’ve just seen a whole ‘challenge’ on tiktok of able people mocking and mimicing disabled people & yet tiktok… https://t.co/hcAabOL7x8— eeeeee (@eeeeee)1590940157.0
Now, the internet is simply riddled with these TikTok challenges.The streaming app, which was originally made for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos, has boomed in popularity in the last couple of months.
Most of the challenges are innocent enough...And tend to revolve around silly dance routines and lip-sync parodies.
But, sadly, many challenges have a slightly more sinister undertone.
In the last couple of months, we have seen countless tales of toxic and harmful challenges circulating the app, wherein young and impressionable users put themselves and others in harm's way.
@livein_harmony @zerobutreeed TIKTOK IS DANGEROUS PERIOD. They suppress videos made by disabled and PoC people, hav… https://t.co/rNA4Fss8zo— The Dude With The Don't-Care Crown (@The Dude With The Don't-Care Crown)1590820662.0
And this brings us back to the case of Melissa Blake.
The condition typically affects the mouth, face, hands, and feet...
However, Melissa hasn't let her disability stop her from living life to the fullest.
So, when she saw that her face had been used in this new and sickening challenge...
Writing for Refinery29, Melissa began by recalling the moment she realized she had become a victim of this challenge.
Sadly, Melissa wasn't at all surprised.
She thought she'd seen it all.
"I’m not laughing, though, because none of this is funny. I’m utterly disgusted."
She stressed how parents should be teaching their children how harmful and hurtful these pranks are...
Melissa actually feels sorry for these children.
Pointing out that one in 4 adults in the U.S who suffer from the disability, she also noted that there is a dire need for disability representation.
You can read Melissa's full article in the link below.
For more on the controversial streaming app, keep scrolling to read about the mother who used the platform to taunt, abuse, and deadname her transgender son...
I got to write about the TikTok prank for @Refinery29 today: “Disabled people aren’t here for your ridicule. We’re… https://t.co/bKUJXcsqBe— Melissa Blake (@Melissa Blake)1598508089.0